Lately I’ve been feeling the need to cleanse.
I’ve noticed the tell-tale signs coming on… craving more sleep and feeling fatigued by the end of the day, lower energy than usual, and the urge to fill up on loads of colour and leafy green goodness. So I’ve decided to give my body a break and cut out some energy-suckers in my diet for a while.
For me, this means no grains, processed sugars (fruit sugar is ok), or packaged snack foods like chips & crackers. I’ll be eating a combination of foods that support my body’s need to cleanse and provide relatively easy-to-digest nourishment – mainly sauteed veggies, eggs, soups, raw yoghurt, potatoes, some good quality grass-fed meats and salads if craved. And at least one green smoothie per day. I’m not sure how long this will go on for… intuitively I’m thinking a few weeks but I always listen to my body and adjust as needed.
While I’m cleansing, I thought it would be fun to share 10 of my fave smoothie recipes with you! Most of these will be green smoothies (I have a special knack at sneaking greens into the most unlikely combinations!) but I have a few choice others that I’ll be including as well which are pretty divine! I’ll be uploading 1 smoothie recipe per day for 10 days straight on facebook and instagram. Follow me here and here to stay updated and grab all the recipes!
What are green smoothies and why do I love them so?
Green smoothies are typically made up of leafy greens + some fruit + a liquid base. Blend a combination of all 3 together and you have a delicious smoothie! This is a very effective way of getting several servings of greens into your diet, more than most of us could or would eat in a day. For example, I can blend a big bundle of greens into just one smoothie for myself. It would be hard for me to eat this same amount in a salad, not to mention a lot harder to digest – chewing raw greens properly takes a lot of time and work! Green smoothies are a fabulous way of flooding your body with raw, enzyme-rich, easy-to-digest nutrition.
Also I’m just going to come out and say it – I’m lazy. I love eating well and of course it’s a priority but I am also busy and don’t want to throw a ton of time into cooking. I work full-time, am in school, blogging, starting up my coaching practice, traveling, dancing & yoga-ing. So I gravitate towards recipes that are loaded with nutrition but have few ingredients and are relatively quick for me to make on the spot. Bonus points if I can easily take it on the go Smoothies satisfy all those requirements which is A++ in my book!
A note on drinking smoothies and eating raw vege in the winter:
The colder months are not typically a time when you want to be eating tons of raw foods. Too many raw veggies in the winter can weaken your digestive fire, actually contributing to constipation and other issues. Not to say you can’t do it but it’s important to eat raw in moderation, as this is a time when the body usually craves heavier foods to better tolerate colder temps. If you naturally run on the vata-side of things like I do, pay special attention to eating raw foods at this time of year and listen to your body’s feedback.
Some other tips and guidelines for drinking smoothies in the winter-time:
+ Make your smoothies with coconut milk or a nut milk instead of water. The fats help to keep you warmer and full and slow down the absorption so the smoothie is not just running right through you.
+ Add warming spices to your smoothies when possible. Several of my recipes contain ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices to stimulate digestive fire.
+ Drink your smoothies at room temperature. When I first make a smoothie after taking the ingredients out of the fridge & freezer, it is COLD! I usually bring one to work with me and after sitting out on my desk for a few hrs, it’s at a nice room temp that is much easier to drink and doesn’t shock my system.
+ Timing is everything. Sometimes I’ll drink a smoothie in the morning but this is a better warm weather practice. When it’s cold outside, my body feels better with a heartier breakfast in the morning. My fave time to have a smoothie in the winter is the afternoon – around lunchtime or in that afternoon lull around 2 or 3ish when most people start reaching for coffee or sugary snacks. Drinking a smoothie as a pick-me-up at this time is a fantastic way to restore your energy without the crash. I usually feel AMAZING after drinking a smoothie at this time.
Foundations for a great smoothie:
If you’d like to join me on this 10-day smoothie challenge, here are the basics you will need:
- Lots of coconut milk – this is my smoothie liquid of choice but you can use nut milk or even plain water if you like (although for cold months, I would advise against water if you can help it). I love coconut milk because it’s quite easy to make, inexpensive, and the coconut flakes don’t require any overnight soaking. No advance prep needed! Plan for about 3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk per smoothie.
- Coconut oil – it helps to add a fat into your smoothies to keep you fuller and warmer.
- Blender – fancy schmancy one not required! Any blender will do (if you have just a basic blender like I do, it helps to blend your greens with coconut milk first before adding any of the other smoothie ingredients. This will help it blend better)
- Bit of sea salt – this is optional. I like to salt my smoothies (just the tiniest dash!) both for taste and also since it adds another warming element. You definitely don’t have to though.
- Organic fruits & veggies – as these are raw smoothies, you want to be sure you are consuming good quality fruits & veggies. Buy organic when possible! If buying all organic is hard, I recommend keeping at least your greens and berries pesticide-free.
And now, I will share with you my fave smoothie below as part of Day 1: dandelion berry!
I’m a big fan of using dandelion leaves in smoothies – it’s a bitter green but goes surprisingly well in most combinations. It’s also AMAZING for cleansing the liver. This is my standard go-to whenever I’m craving a green smoothie. I love it because it’s simple, it’s low in sugar, it’s cleansing, and it’s delicious.
3/4 – 1 cup coconut milk (for a thicker smoothie, use less milk)
large bunch of dandelion leaves
handful of blueberries & raspberries
(optional) dash of sea salt
topping: goji berries
Blend coconut milk and dandelion together. Add the remaining ingredients, blend well and you are done! Add goji berries on top or mixed in and enjoy. ♥